Oxfam International Blogs - end violence against women and girls http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/end-violence-against-women-and-girls en A Champion of Change for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-02-22-champion-change-ending-violence-against-women-and-girls <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Arpit, 26, is an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. Arpit was exposed to violence and gender inequality from a young age, seeing the way that his father ill-treated his mother. Arpit’s mother worked long hours doing domestic labor and rarely left the household throughout his childhood.</p> <p>After learning about gender equality and women’s rights through Oxfam's Creating Spaces partner, Astitwa, Arpit began to advocate for his mother’s rights and freedoms. He saw that he could help change how his father treated his mother.</p> <p><strong>“Change starts in the household.</strong> Women and girls need to be respected by the men and the boys in the house, or nothing will change in our society,” Arpit says.</p> <p>Now, he works with Creating Spaces to ensure that men and boys work to end violence against women and girls and child marriage.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">This is his story</span></p> <p>We are three brothers and I am the eldest one. My father works as a carpenter at a furniture shop and mother is a home maker.</p> <p>When I was a child, we were staying in a Mohalla (colony) where it was a regular sight to see men shouting at women (their wives) using filthy language demeaning women and their dignity. Sometimes, I was a part of it.</p> <p>In the past when I used to talk to any woman, I thought they were different, because society looks at them from that perspective.</p> <p>I thought women were good for nothing and that they were at lower status of the society.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">Association with Astitwa</span></p> <p>I became associated with Astitwa and attended various meetings conducted by them. I realized such mindset and perspective was wrong.</p> <p>The kind of mindset I developed during the course of time towards women is rather good. Since participating in different activities of the Creating Spaces project and working with grassroots women and understanding their situation, I realized that we were suppressing them and their freedom of speech.</p> <p>Society still looks down to women, they are not equal to men. If they are not given equal status in society, then nothing will happen and no development will take shape.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">Changes in family</span></p> <p>In the past, after cooking food for the entire family, my mother would eat last. This was not affecting me, it was a regular trend.</p> <p>Normally in homes, women or mothers eat after all the members of the family finish their meal. They settle for whatever is left for them. But suddenly, I felt bad.</p> <p>So, I brought change in my family. I made it a point to eat together only once she was done cooking.</p> <p>Also, in 26 years of marriage, she had never been to a nearby market or had any idea of what the outside world was like. Thus, I changed that and now she visits the local market and brings groceries and other things she chooses.</p> <p>In the initial days, I was helping her but later she went alone. It helped her take decisions and bring things of her own choice, whether they were saris or food items she needed.</p> <p>About domestic violence, I would like to add that three months ago my father was shouting at my mother and raised his hand to beat her. I stopped and protested. I told him scolding women demeans women in the society.</p> <p>Since then, I found a change within him and until now he has never misbehaved or physically assaulted her (my mother).</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">Changes in society</span></p> <p>In our society, whenever a woman goes out to work, men (husbands) with patriarchal mindsets think they will lose control over their wives.</p> <p>Some men do not allow women to go out and work because they assume people will think they are surviving on their wife’s income”. Also, if they go out and work it is a shame for the family, as women are seen as ‘izzat’ (honour) in Indian traditional families. For her to be seen working, is to tarnish the family’s honour.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">My dream</span></p> <p>To discuss my dream, I must first talk about my community. In my community, women are always deprived of a higher education.</p> <p>Thus, my first goal would be to visit all of the communities, mine included, and convincing parents to send their daughters, along with their sons, to study.</p> <p>About child marriage, my opinion would be to not marry off your daughters so early. Instead, focus on their education, encourage them to continue their studies and to earn for their livelihood. Spend the money you have saved for her marriage on her studies so that she can earn and take control on her own life and marriage.</p> <p>~~~</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">What is Creating Spaces?</span></p> <p>Creating Spaces is an <a href="https://www.oxfam.ca/">Oxfam Canada</a> flagship project that takes action to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG), including child, early and forced marriage in 6 countries - Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Nepal.</p> <p>How does it work? By helping change the attitudes, behaviours, and systems that perpetuate violence against women and girls through:</p> <p><strong>1. Creating spaces for support:</strong> Women who experience violence often lack access to support services. Creating Spaces improves access to social services, medical assistance, counselling, job training, and legal aid. Support provides women with tools to take control of their lives and to build a better future.<br /><br /><strong>2. Creating spaces for justice:</strong> Laws often exist, but go unenforced or unchallenged. Creating Spaces works with legal professionals and community leaders to uphold the rights of women and girls. We educate women to better understand - and fight for - their right to a life free of violence.<br /><br /><strong>3. Creating spaces for change:</strong> <a href="https://www.oxfam.ca/project/creating-spaces/">Creating Spaces</a> facilitates knowledge-sharing between local partners and countries to generate widespread change. We help individuals and institutions connect, share, learn and adapt approaches to ending violence against women and girls.</p> <p>Over 5 years, Creating Spaces will:</p> <ul><li>Change how communities think about violence and the acceptance of violence.</li> <li>Provide support to women and girls who have experienced violence.</li> <li>Strengthen women &amp; girls' rights, leadership, and engagement.</li> <li>Help institutions and networks get the tools they need to influence change</li> </ul><p>You can help Oxfam empower more women <a href="https://oxfam.org/donate">by donating today</a>!</p> <p><em>This entry posted 22 February 2019, by Caroline Leal, Oxfam Canada for <a href="https://www.oxfam.ca/project/creating-spaces/">Creating Spaces project</a>. Originally published by <a href="https://www.oxfamindia.org/featuredstories/champion-change">Oxfam India</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Photo credit: Atul Loke/Oxfam</em></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A Champion of Change for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls</h2></div> Fri, 22 Feb 2019 13:15:22 +0000 Guest Blogger 81877 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-02-22-champion-change-ending-violence-against-women-and-girls#comments “A Woman Has To Like It” And Other Myths of Machismo http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-08-10-breaking-myths-machismo-to-end-violence-against-women <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>A powerful personal blog on how we can all fight the social norms that enable violence against women.</strong></em></p><p>‘Give me a blow job and I will play the Rihanna song.’</p><p>This is just one example of sexual harassment I have experienced over the last couple of months. It was much worse when I was younger, often escalating from verbal to physical sexual harassment.</p><p>When women confront their harasser – we are often met with verbal attacks and sometimes more extreme violence (just see the recent case of a woman who confronted her harasser&nbsp; and he hits her, in broad daylight, on a street in Paris). We are meant to want the attention, welcome the compliment and weather any discomfort, because to not do so, is to provoke.</p><p>Whether in online spaces or on the bus ride to work, <strong>the experience or threat of harassment and abuse are very real and present</strong> in the everyday lives of women across the world.</p><p>As part of our <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/enough" rel="nofollow">Enough campaign to end violence against women</a>, we wanted to unpack and better understand what drives abuse and passes it from one generation to another. We decided to zoom in on eight countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, a region with one of the highest rates of violence against women.</p><p><img alt="Eliminate violence against women" title="Eliminate violence against women" height="512" width="1024" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/03-12-months.jpg" /></p><h3>What did we find?</h3><p>One of our key findings is that young people believe that men cannot control their sexual desires, and that women must comply with men’s sexual desires even if they do not want to.</p><p><strong>We confirmed the informal “rules”</strong> that are taught to every generation of young girls, about what it means to be a woman:</p><ul><li>Do not go out late</li><li>Do not get drunk</li><li>Do not wear that short skirt</li><li>Do not be out alone.</li></ul><p>These “rules” are built on the premise that men cannot help themselves and that women must comply in order to be safe from sexual violence, and they are being reproduced and replicated by the younger generation.</p><p><strong>If a woman does not play by these “rules,” she’s asking for it.</strong> And any sexual violence she experiences is her fault.</p><p>For example, 7 out of 10 young men aged 15–19 believe that a decent woman should not dress provocatively, nor be out on the streets late at night; and 6 out of 10 women of similar age share this belief.</p><p>Another belief used to justify sexual violence – is that when women say NO, they really mean YES. <strong>A staggering 65%</strong> of young men (15-19) believe this.</p><p><img alt="Eliminate violence against women" title="Eliminate violence against women" height="512" width="1024" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/05-dress.jpg" /></p><h3>Street harassment - ‘A woman has to like it.’</h3><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/breaking-mould" rel="nofollow">Our research</a> confirmed that street harassment is normalized with 75% of young people across Latin America and the Caribbean accepting street harassment as normal.</p><p>In the Dominican Republic, we found 84% of young men (15-19) say their male friends believe they have the right to shout call out ‘compliments’ to women.</p><p>One young man in the Dominican Republic told us ‘A compliment is like poetry; a woman has to like it.’</p><h3>Women fighting back</h3><p>Despite the findings, there is a rising tide for change building on the success of the women’s movement which has successfully fought for legal protections. To date, 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries have laws in place punishing violence against women and 15 have incorporated femicide as a specific crime.</p><p><strong>The momentum for changing sexist beliefs and gender norms</strong> is reflected in the millions who took to the streets to march against violence. It is in the women finding the courage to share their stories of abuse and harassment online, using the hashtags <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MiPrimerAcoso&amp;src=typd" rel="nofollow">#MiPrimerAcoso</a> (My First Harassment,) and <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NoTeCalles%20&amp;src=typd" rel="nofollow">#NoTeCalles </a>(Don’t Stay Silent), supporting other women to break their silence.</p><p>Innovative voices for change have also come from the artists and musicians who are using their craft as a way to shift the cultural narrative on machismo. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/OxfamBolivia/" rel="nofollow">Oxfam Bolivia</a> has had tremendous success raising awareness on harmful gendered social norms though social experiments and musical collaborations, which convey the message that jealousy and control are not love.</p><p>To counter the forces moulding violence into the everyday, we must influence the dominant narrative with new ideas, new ways of being, highlight not machismo but alternative models of masculinity, give visibility to families and individuals who are challenging existing belief systems and gender norms.</p><p>As individuals, <a href="https://sayenoughtoviolence.org" rel="nofollow">we can be a part of that change</a> by recognising how the jokes, gestures, conversations and images we share can shape the beliefs and actions of those around us.</p><p><em>This entry posted by Bethan Cansfield, Oxfam's Head of Enough/BASTA! Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls, on 8 August 2018.</em></p><p><em><strong>Read the report: <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/breaking-mould" rel="nofollow">Breaking the mould: Changing belief systems and gender norms to eliminate violence against women</a></strong><br></em></p><p><em><strong><img alt="Eliminate violence against women" title="Eliminate violence against women" height="512" width="1024" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/01-jonathan.jpg" /></strong></em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>“A Woman Has To Like It” And Other Myths of Machismo</h2></div> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 17:11:12 +0000 Bethan Cansfield 81674 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-08-10-breaking-myths-machismo-to-end-violence-against-women#comments Changing attitudes in Malawi, to end violence against women http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-06-04-changing-attitudes-malawi-end-violence-against-women <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Nikki van der Gaag, Oxfam GB’s Director of Women’s Rights, reports from rural Malawi, where Oxfam is working with the First Lady to end gender-based violence and promote gender equality.</strong></p><p>The excitement is palpable. The sun is already hot, but people are gathering in groups to sing and dance. All are in bright colours, but the two that dominate are Oxfam’s purple and black: ‘End Violence against Women and Girls’ robes, and the pale blue of the President’s party.</p><p>We are in Phalombe District, in the south of the country, on the flat plains dominated by Malawi’s 3,000 metre Mount Mulanje. The crowds are gathering in a local school, where a clear area of red earth has been encircled by tents, and, in honour of their visitor, a platform with flowers and a chair.</p><p>They have come on foot and in trucks, old and young, women and men. Many are barefoot, some have hats or handkerchiefs on their heads. Gradually they settle down, standing in the shade or sitting upright, legs outstretched in front of them.</p><h3>Violence is inhuman</h3><p>They are here to see <strong>Malawi's First Lady, Professor Gertrude Mutharika</strong>, who is an Oxfam Ambassador on ending violence against women and girls. She is accompanied by seven other Ambassadors, including Malawi’s first female Chief Justice, Anastasia Msosa; Paramount Chiefs, Gomani and Kawinga; Senior Chief Chikumbu and Senior Chief Kachindamoto (a woman who is a tireless campaigner against child marriage, visiting homes and communities to stop the practice); Skeffa Chimoto, a popular Malawian musician; and <a href="http://faithmussa.com/" rel="nofollow">Faith Mussa</a>, a Malawian gospel singer who performs not only in the villages of his country but on stages around the world.</p><p>The presence of the men as well as the women is evidence of the fact that women’s voices alone, are not enough in this patriarchal society. Faith and Skeffa tell me how part of the ambassador role is to go around villages playing music and speaking about the importance of girls’ education and ending violence. Faith also takes his voice to the churches, where elders also listen.</p><p>‘I came from a woman’, says Skeffa, ‘why should I beat a woman? Violence is inhuman.’</p><h3>Violence against women is increasing</h3><p>Their voices, and the First Lady’s are sorely needed. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, <a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/closing-the-divide-in-malawi-how-to-reduce-inequality-and-increase-prosperity-f-620463" rel="nofollow">where inequality is on the rise</a>. It is also one of the world’s worst places to be a woman – and getting worse rather than better. It went down 20 places in the <a href="https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-gender-gap-report-2017" rel="nofollow">2017 Global Gender Gap Report</a>, ranking 101 out of 144 countries.</p><p>The percentage of women who have ever experienced physical violence has increased from 28 per-cent in 2010 to 34 per-cent in the <a href="https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR319/FR319.pdf" rel="nofollow">2015-16 Demographic and Health Survey</a>.</p><p>And In 2014, women’s representation in parliament dropped from 43 to 32 MPs.</p><p>Not only this, but almost <a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/child_marriage_20130307/en/" rel="nofollow">50 per cent of girls can expect to be married before they are 18</a>. This is despite the efforts of the government to outlaw the practice, a Gender Equality Act, passed in 2013, and a Gender Ministry and a Women’s Caucus in Parliament.</p><h3>Changing social norms</h3><p>Changing attitudes and behaviors – known as social norms – is therefore key. And this event aims to be part of that change.</p><p>The First Lady’s arrival is heralded more by a sort of indrawn breath from the crowd, rather than the cavalcade that sometimes announces a person of importance. She is wearing an elegant tailored dress made out of the Oxfam material.</p><p>The speeches go on for a couple of hours, interspersed with groups of women and school children performing songs and dancing.</p><h3>Violence, development, poverty</h3><p>Finally the First Lady moves to the microphone. She doesn’t pull her punches, speaking of incest, rape of orphans, violence in the family, and the importance of girls going to school. She says that she agreed to become an Oxfam Ambassador because gender-based violence not only harms women and girls, it holds back the country’s development:</p><p>‘When women and girls are subjected to gender based violence of various forms, they are affected both physically and emotionally, as such, they are unlikely to take part in development activities. This reduces the number of Malawians that could take part in development.’</p><p>The crowd listen in rapt silence. And then, suddenly, the event is over. As the First Lady’s car sweeps down the road out of the school, the stage, banners and tents are already being taken down. People stream away in all directions, some along the road, some through the fields of corn and sunflowers. Many of the school children, girls included, are on bicycles. They are still lively, despite the long day.</p><h3>Signs of change</h3><p>Perhaps the conversations over dinner tonight will begin to open up the kinds of debates between couples, parents and children, elders and the youth, and within communities, that are so sorely needed to change both attitudes and behaviors.</p><p>I hope that the example set by the First Lady and others today will begin to make a difference to some of those grim statistics. One sign of change in the days following the event was the suspending of nine primary school teachers in Phalombe District for allegedly having sexual relations with their pupils.</p><p>If these changes in structures, attitudes and behaviors can be made, the women and girls of this beautiful country will have a different kind of future; one that will benefit all its citizens.</p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/explore/issues/gender-justice" rel="nofollow"><strong>Read more about our work on ending violence against women and girls</strong></a></p><p><em>This entry posted by Nikki van der Gaag, Oxfam GB’s Director of Women’s Rights, on 4 June 2018.</em><br><br><em>Photo: Malawi's First Lady, Professor Gertrude Mutharika, with fellow Oxfam Ambassadors on ending violence against women and girls at the EVAWG event in Phalombe District, Malawi. Credit: Watipaso Kaliwo/Oxfam</em><br><br></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Changing attitudes in Malawi, to end violence against women</h2></div> Mon, 04 Jun 2018 17:44:57 +0000 Guest Blogger 81588 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-06-04-changing-attitudes-malawi-end-violence-against-women#comments What is the Commission of the Status of Women, and why Oxfam is there http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-12-what-commission-status-women-and-why-oxfam-there <div class="field field-name-body"><p>The <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/" rel="nofollow">Commission of the Status of Women</a> (CSW), which runs from 12 to 23 March 2018 this year, is the global policy-making body concerning women's empowerment and gender equality issues. It sets norms and standards aimed at guiding government action to advance the status of women.</p><p>The CSW offers an important opportunity for Member States, International Institutions, and civil society to come together and call for urgent action to end gender inequality. It is a key moment for civil society to influence policy makers, and state actors to guarantee that gender equality commitments are maintained and avoid possible setbacks and an important opportunity for Oxfam to advance our work on gender justice.</p><p>A critical output of the session is the forming of Agreed Conclusions, negotiated by governments and aiming to present a consensus by the international community, on a set of principles and actions to be carried forward by governments, the United Nations and NGOs. Oxfam participates in CSW to advance debates on key issues and influence governments at the negotiations through consultations and by leading side events.</p><p><strong>The theme for <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw62-2018" rel="nofollow">this year’s CSW</a> is Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.</strong></p><p>Oxfam will be bring the important perspective that rural women are not an homogenous group, and empowering rural women should not be focused on a singular identity. The heterogeneity of rural women and the challenges they face including multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination should be considered and solutions to advance gender equality for rural women tailored to address the different challenges faced by rural women and girls.</p><p>Globally, several challenges to the full realization of rural women's and girls rights persist. Women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work, social protection, inheritance, land and productive resources, participation in decision-making and gender-based violence inclusive. Moreover, sustainable development can only be realized if all forms of structural barriers and discriminatory laws on education, work, unpaid care, land and land-based resources, gender-based violence and social protection are eliminated.</p><p><strong>Oxfam’s will focus on the following issues in our advocacy and side events:</strong></p><h3>1. Unpaid care work</h3><p><strong></strong>Oxfam will promote policy solutions based on our research "<a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/womens-economic-empowerment-and-care-evidence-for-influencing-578732" rel="nofollow">Women’s Economic and Care-Evidence for Influencing</a>” which shows that after adult women, girls provide the most hours of care work limiting their access to education and other rights.&nbsp; The burden of care work is increased by inadequate policies that make <a href="https://views-voices.oxfam.org.uk/gender/wee/2018/03/access-water-care-work" rel="nofollow">access to services like water</a>, education and health challenging for rural women and girls. To address this, Governments must recognize, redistribute, reduce unpaid work and ensure representation of women in policy discussions. Governments should further leverage the use of technologies to bridge the infrastructure gap and reduce the work burden for many domestic and care related chores.&nbsp;<img alt="The burden of unpaid care work on women - graphic" title="The burden of unpaid care work on women - graphic" height="478" width="700" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/unpaid-care-work-graphic.jpg" /></p><h3>2. Increasing financing for development in rural areas</h3><p><strong></strong>Infrastructure, access to markets for small holder farmers, essential services: Rural women and girls cannot exist and thrive without appropriate infrastructure in place. Providing services to rural regions is both a matter of enabling them to participate in national development and a rights issue. Access to markets for small holder farmers among other essential services is key in realising inclusive development. Governments must therefore ensure allocation of budgets towards development of rural areas while ensuring that the needs of women and girls are prioritized.</p><h3>3. Securing land and land tenure for rural women and girls</h3><p><strong></strong>Land is not only a source of food, employment and income; it also gives social prestige and access to political power. Land has long been recognized as key to advancing the socio-economic rights and wellbeing of women and girls and their position in society. Yet access, control and ownership of land largely remains the domain of male privilege, entrenching patriarchal structures of power and control over community resources, history, culture and tradition. <a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/womens-right-to-agricultural-land-removing-legal-barriers-for-achieving-gender-618600" rel="nofollow">Securing rural women and girls land rights</a> must take cognizance of the different challenges that rural women and girls encounter and seek to implement and enforce existing international, regional and national frameworks and instruments.</p><h3>4. Taking action in accelerating implementation of instruments</h3><p><strong></strong>A number of progressive International, Regional and National frameworks and instruments exist to ensure inclusion of women and girls, however, the slow implementation continues to deny women the privilege to enjoy these gains. The is an urgent need to take on the effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which will make a crucial contribution to the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda.</p><h3>5. Sexual and reproductive health rights and Ending VAWG</h3><p><strong></strong>Globally, the health of women and girls has seen a significant improvement over the last two decades. However slow pace of progress is reflected in many countries who could not realize the <a href="http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/maternal.shtml" rel="nofollow">Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Five</a> on improving maternal health especially the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRHR).&nbsp; The discrimination that women and girls face as far as SRHR, Female Genital Mutilation and Forced and Early Child Marriage (FECM) are cross cutting and compounding issues with regards to women’s rights. Sub Saharan Africa has some of the worst statistics on SRHR and child marriage.</p><p>Oxfam will be taking the messages from our <a href="http://www.sayenoughtoviolence.org/indexOld.html" rel="nofollow">ENOUGH Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls</a> and experiences from our program countries to CSW including engaging on the impacts of women’s economic empowerment on the prevalence of domestic violence; <a href="https://views-voices.oxfam.org.uk/general/2018/03/gender-development-intersectionality" rel="nofollow">the intersectional effect</a> that violence has on the life of women; and the impact of FECM and the empowerment of rural women and girls.</p><p><strong>See below for a list of Oxfam’s side events.</strong></p><ul><li>Rural Women’s Leadership: Development Practices &amp; Movement Building to Secure Land Rights - Huairou Commission, ILC, GLTN, Oxfam (12th March, 2018,10:30 AM, Salvation Army,&nbsp; Auditorium 1)</li><li>What Works to Tackle Early Child Marriage &amp; Empower Rural Women and Girls?: International Development Research Centre (Canada), Oxfam, Women in Law and Development (Africa), BRAC University, Innovation for Poverty Action (12th of March12.30 pm , 4 W. 43rd Street, Blue Room)</li><li>Women Land Rights: Steps and Strategies for Empowerment of Rural Women girls:&nbsp; WILDAF, OXFAM, ILC, GLII (12th March, 2.30pm, 4 W 43rd Street, Room: Social Hall,)</li><li>Transformative Approaches To Achieve Women's Tenure Security At Scale: The Relation Between Equal Land Rights And Women's Empowerment In Rural Africa –&nbsp; European Union, Germany, Finland (13th March 10:00 AM-11:15 AM, GA Building Conference Room)</li><li>Silent Tears - Disability, Violence, And Survival Of Rural Women Globally: UN Women National Committee Australia and Blue Projects International with co-hosts European Disability Forum and Oxfam (13th March 2018, 12:30 – 2pm Social Hall 4 West 43rd Street,)</li><li>Empowering Rural Women and Girls: A Feminist Approach: (March 13th 3:00&nbsp; PM to 4:15 PM, UN Conference Room 1) Government of Canada</li><li>Boosting Livelihood Improvements Through Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment and Leadership, Oxfam (13th March, 2018, 4:30 PM 4 W 43rd Street Room: Green Room)</li><li>Promoting Rural Women's Leadership and Gender Equality: Leave No Women and Girls Behind: Beyond Beijing Committee- Nepal, National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF), Justice for All (J4A), Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) (14 March 2018, The Armenian Convention Center, Yerevan Hall,)</li><li>Agree to Agri: Unearthing the Power of Rural Women (15 March 2018, 6:30pm-7:45pm Conference Room 11)</li><li>Contemporary solutions for the feminist movement in Russia: Petersburg Feminist Collective (16 March, 8-30 am , Salvation Army 221St)</li></ul><p><em>This entry posted by Kim Henderson, Oxfam Gender Justice Lead, on 12 March 2018.<br></em></p><p><em>Photo: Luz Evelia Godines Solano in her coffee nursery plot, in the peasant community of La Chiripa, Nicaragua. She produces Tierra Madre coffee, marketed in Spain. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam</em></p><h3>You may also like</h3><ul><li><a href="https://views-voices.oxfam.org.uk/gender/wee/2018/03/access-water-care-work" rel="nofollow"><strong>How improving access to water can help reduce care work</strong></a></li><li><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.ca/creatingspaces" rel="nofollow">Creating Spaces</a></strong> - an Oxfam Canada flagship project that takes action to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG), including child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) in 6 countries - Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Nepal</li><li><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/explore/issues/gender-justice" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam's commitment to women's rights</strong></a></li></ul><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>What is the Commission of the Status of Women, and why Oxfam is there</h2></div> Mon, 12 Mar 2018 17:55:00 +0000 Guest Blogger 81436 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-12-what-commission-status-women-and-why-oxfam-there#comments #TimesUp: No more silence. No more waiting. No more abuse. http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-01-19-timesup-no-more-silence-no-more-waiting-no-more-abuse <div class="field field-name-body"><p>In late 2017, women around the world shared their stories of violence. Deeply personal and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Oxfam/videos/516214442089708/" rel="nofollow">painful storie</a>s were shared under the banner of <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=metoo&amp;src=typd" rel="nofollow">#MeToo</a>. Our collective consciousness was re-ignited – violence is perpetrated against us because we are women, because of gender inequality, because of misogyny. We stood together and exposed the pattern of abuse. At that moment, the scale of violence against women was impossible to ignore.</p><p>However, what was missing from #MeToo was the perpetrators of abuse. We cannot forget that for every story shared, there is a perpetrator. In films, television and newspapers, perpetrators of violence are often presented as imaginary monsters – not the white boy across the road who does well at school and helps his parents. Not the working man who is respected in his community with a wife and kids. Yet some of these men and boys do perpetrate violence – and all too often enjoy impunity.</p><h3>What is #TimesUp</h3><p>The opportunity to hold perpetrators accountable has come with the <a href="https://www.timesupnow.com/" rel="nofollow">#TimesUp movement</a>. Launched at the 75th annual Golden Globes, #TimesUp was created by 300 women actors, agents, writers, directors and executives to fight sexual harassment and violence. <a href="http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/a14551183/oprah-winfrey-golden-globes-speech-transcript/" rel="nofollow">Oprah Winfrey’s stirring speech</a> at the Golden Globes explained the initiative: "For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up."</p><h3>Life-saving initiatives, not witch-hunts</h3><p>As the spotlight shines on the perpetrators, they can no longer hide behind the privilege that has for too long been afforded to them by governments and communities and we will inevitably (and have already) hear cries of a witch-hunt.</p><p>Ironically, those crying witch-hunt, in the same breath describe sexual harassment. For example, a <a href="https://www.elle.com.au/celebrity/catherine-deneuve-times-up-witch-hunt-15515" rel="nofollow">letter signed by 100 actors</a>, academics and writers states #MeToo and #TimesUp promote the ‘hatred of men’ also goes onto describe how men are ‘forced out of a job’ for trying to ‘steal a kiss’.</p><p>Trying to steal a kiss in the workplace is sexual harassment.&nbsp; If you have any doubt, then watch this <a href="https://oxfam.facebook.com/thatsharassment/videos/1653469821334026/?hc_ref=ARTJD3459zNwEIJ2MmwShlufRMpulp3I52XZhs1_qHgc_fq7hpkMbq5nPprcbg0IRS4&amp;pnref=story" rel="nofollow">incisive short video</a> from That’s Harassment. I struggle to watch it – the video perfectly captures the power dynamics of sexual violence and that is what makes it such incredibly uncomfortable viewing.</p><p>In addition, cries of witch-hunt often hinge on the behavior being seen as normal and acceptable for men. It is this normalization that we need to challenge and the entitlement that men have over women’s bodies. <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/337603/What-know-what-knowledge-gaps-D.pdf" rel="nofollow">Multi-country studies</a> have found the most commonly reported motivation for rape perpetration, as reported by men themselves, was related to feeling entitled to have sex, regardless of consent (sexual entitlement).</p><h3>The intersections of gender, race, sexual orientation and poverty</h3><p>#MeToo, #TimesUp and any other movement that demands justice for women and girls who have experienced violence are life-saving initiatives in societies that have for too long protected perpetrators.</p><p>We need only to look at the <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/recy-taylor-dead-black-woman-gang-rape-civil-rights-alabama-white-men-african-american-dies-died-a8132816.html" rel="nofollow">case of Recy Taylor</a>, who was highlighted in Oprah’s speech, to see a devastating example of how male perpetrators have escaped justice.</p><p>In 1944, Recy was raped by six armed white men as she walked home from church. They threatened to kill her if she told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP and Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case. Oprah poignantly said of Recy’s case ‘But justice wasn't an option in the era of Jim Crow.</p><p>The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men.’</p><p>Recy’s case demonstrates how race intersects with gender, both in the violence women experience and the justice they will receive. Lesbian and trans women, women living in poverty and women with disabilities also face increased risk of experiencing violence and additional barriers to justice.</p><h3>Oxfam’s work to end violence: #SayEnough</h3><p>In Oxfam, we too are saying times up. Around the world, we are running our campaign <a href="http://www.sayenoughtoviolence.org/" rel="nofollow">Enough: Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls</a>. Over 30 countries will eventually launch the campaign, which focuses on challenging the normalisation and acceptability of violence. Like #TimesUp, we support people to stand up and reject violence – wherever it occurs. We also recognize that as in all organizations sexual abuse happens within Oxfam and this urgently needs to change. We are increasing resources and creating more robust policies to tackle sexual violence.</p><p><iframe width="640" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ova_C9v7F90?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><h3>What next?</h3><p>Pulling again from the inspirational speeches at the Global Globes, actor Elisabeth Moss drew a slightly adapted <a href="https://slate.com/arts/2018/01/elisabeth-moss-quotes-margaret-atwood-in-golden-globes-speech.html" rel="nofollow">quote from the Handmaid’s Tale</a>: ‘We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories. We are the story in print, and we are writing the story ourselves.’</p><p>Let’s remind ourselves why we no longer have to live in the blank spaces, at the edge of print: because of the work of women’s rights activists, who have never given up advocating for an end to violence against women and girls.</p><h3>Speak up, speak out</h3><p>Follow on social media <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=Timesup&amp;src=typd" rel="nofollow">#TimesUp</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=MeToo&amp;src=typd" rel="nofollow">#MeToo</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=sayenough&amp;src=typd" rel="nofollow">#SayEnough</a> (Oxfam’s worldwide campaign) and get involved – share content and add your voice to conversations to end violence. In addition, find your local women’s rights organization or activist group – donate and get involved!</p><p>If we do this, then just maybe the next generation of women and girls will never have to say #MeToo.</p><p><em>The entry posted by Bethan Cansfield, Oxfam's Head of Enough/BASTA! Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls, on 19 January 2018.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Richard Potts<br></em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>#TimesUp: No more silence. No more waiting. No more abuse.</h2></div> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:13:03 +0000 Bethan Cansfield 81360 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-01-19-timesup-no-more-silence-no-more-waiting-no-more-abuse#comments Why addressing power is key to ending violence against women http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-12-08-why-addressing-power-key-ending-violence-against-women <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>Violence against women won’t end until gender equality is a reality, argues Nikki van der Gaag, Oxfam’s Gender Justice and Women’s Rights Director. The current wave of interest in sexual harassment at work highlights just one consequence of gender inequality, but if things are really going to change, we need to address the power imbalances that mean women are still seen as second-class citizens.</strong></em><br><br>"Violence against women is fundamentally about power. It will only end when gender equality and the full empowerment of women is a reality," <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2017-11-22/secretary-generals-remarks-international-day-elimination-violence" rel="nofollow">said Antonio Guterres</a>, United Nations Secretary General, at the start of this year’s <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism" rel="nofollow">16 days of activism</a> against gender-based violence.<br><br>It might seem at first glance that the issue of power between women and men has been addressed. After all, women have won the vote, the right to go to school, to be presidents and prime ministers and CEOs. More recently, the world has made major commitments to gender equality and to ending violence against women, especially with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.<br><br>But we still have a long way to go, and violence and the fear of violence is one of the many things that prevents women taking their rightful place in the public sphere. Women still only make up 22.8 % of parliamentarians globally. In 2017, there were only <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/06/07/fortune-500-women-ceos/" rel="nofollow">32 female CEOs</a> running Fortune 500 companies. And a <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security/facts-and-figures" rel="nofollow">UN study of women’s participation</a> in peace processes found that women make up only 9% of negotiating delegations, 4% of signatories, and 2% of chief mediators.<br><br><strong>All over the world, women continue to face abuse</strong>, violence, discrimination and sexual harassment. The horrifying statistic that <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures" rel="nofollow">one in three women worldwide</a> face violence from an intimate partner is often quoted but changes very little from year to year.<br><br>Many brave women die for speaking out – Jo Cox in the UK, Gauri Lankesh in India, <a href="https://medium.com/@Oxfam/what-i-learned-during-my-visit-to-la-esperanza-honduras-a397a637a6e9" rel="nofollow">Berta Caceres</a> in Honduras.<br><br><strong>Thousands of women die just because they are women.</strong> <br><br>This will not stop, as Antonio Guterres pointed out, until we address the roots of gender inequality and the power between men and women – poor and rich, urban and rural, young and old, gay, straight or queer, disabled or able-bodied.<br><br>And sadly, despite the many campaigns, there is evidence that in many places, violence against women is getting worse. Global insecurity combined with an increase in right-wing populism and religious fundamentalisms support an anti-women’s rights agenda where violence is legitimised.<br><br>For example, looking at intimate partner violence specifically, 46 countries still have no laws to prevent it.&nbsp; In Russia this year <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/07/putin-approves-change-to-law-decriminalising-domestic-violence" rel="nofollow">it was actually decriminalised</a>, despite estimates that a woman dies every 40 minutes at the hands of a husband or partner.<br><br><strong>Violent behaviour by men towards women</strong> has been given a new arena in the digital age, leaving women afraid to take up their place in the world, or sometimes even to leave their front doors. For example, <a href="http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/images/wsis/HighlightDocumentEnglish.pdf" rel="nofollow">73% of women have already</a> been exposed to or have experienced some form of online violence, and <a href="http://time.com/3305466/male-female-harassment-online/" rel="nofollow">76% of trafficked persons</a> are girls and women, with the internet now a major sales platform for trafficking.<br><br>But, as we have seen in recent weeks, technology can also be part of the solution. The <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/metoo-reaches-85-countries-with-1-7-million-tweets/" rel="nofollow">1.7 million who tweeted #MeToo</a>, and the many others who tweeted #Countmein, #BreaktheSilence, #Orangetheworld, after the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, at last gave many women in many industries the opportunity to speak out. Could it be the start of an avalanche that topples the power structures as they exist today?<br><br>This will take a lot more than tweets. At Oxfam, we have our own internal allegations and processes to deal with sexual harassment. We are not immune from the norms and behaviours that are out there in the wider world. We haven’t done enough to create a climate and culture that stops sexual abuse and harassment. We are working to improve the ways we deal with such allegations and to make our systems even more robust so that no staff member feels afraid to speak out, and no staff member uses their power to abuse another. But we know we still have a way to go.<br><br><strong>If we are to end violence against women and girls, everywhere</strong>, so that one day we have no need for a 16 days campaign, we need to ensure that the current wave of interest in sexual harassment at work is put into the context of violence against women and gender inequality in all areas of life, whether in the home, on the streets, in the workplace, or on the international stage.<br><br>We need to ensure that no woman is seen as somehow less than a man. We need to support women and women’s organisations all over the world, and the growing number of men working against violence against women and for gender equality. We need to challenge the individuals and the institutions that prop up unequal power relations between women and men and so foster violence and to ensure that they put gender equality at the heart of both policy and practice.<br><br>As Tarana Burke, who came up with the term #MeToo, said. “This is just the start. I’ve been saying from the beginning it’s not just a moment, it’s a movement. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/dec/06/metoo-movement-named-time-magazines-person-of-the-year" rel="nofollow">Now the work really begins.</a>”<br><br><em>This entry posted by Nikki is Director of Gender Justice and Women’s Rights at Oxfam GB, on 8 December 2017.</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Why addressing power is key to ending violence against women</h2></div> Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:35:09 +0000 Guest Blogger 81321 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-12-08-why-addressing-power-key-ending-violence-against-women#comments What role do you play in normalizing violence against women? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-11-30-what-role-do-you-play-normalizing-violence-against-women <div class="field field-name-body"><p>In 2012 the <a href="http://oneinnine.org.za/" rel="nofollow">One in Nine Campaign</a> produced this poster (below), as part of the first set of art-works produced through the AMP studio. It resonates deeply with the conversation we wish to provoke in the campaign: <a href="https://twitter.com/ThePeopleVsHer" rel="nofollow">The PeopleVsHer,</a> launched this week, during the <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism" rel="nofollow">16 Days of Activism Opposing Violence Against Womxn and Girls</a>.</p><p><img alt="Graphic: &quot;I was raped because...&quot;" title="Graphic: &quot;I was raped because...&quot;" height="528" width="656" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/i-was-raped-because-final.png" /></p><h3>The reasons for violence against women are absurd</h3><p>Society, as the artwork shows in the first instance, has a long list of absurd reasons given by perpetrators and society at large for the rape of womxn and gender-non-binary people. What is also absurd, but more tragic, is that people listen, entertain and use these reasons.</p><p>The reasons for rape as this poster shows often contradict each other and are ultimately irrelevant: the only reason womxn are raped is because rapists rape and more so, because society allows them to and encourages it.</p><p>A second tragedy, is the “I was raped because…”, can also be replaced with “I was killed because…”, “I was paid less for the same work because”, “I was denied any of the wealth I created on that farm because”, “My opinion on issues directly affecting me and my children were never taken seriously because…”. That list goes on forever too, and it too makes no logical sense in its contradictions.</p><h3>Violence is normalised</h3><p>Oppressors and oppressive structures, will always offer reasons for why they must and have to do what they do. They need to build consensus and normalise what is unjust and what should be abnormal if it must exist. But we cannot forget that the exclusion, discrimination and disposability of some bodies over others is as a result and consequence of choices, people and structures.</p><p>Wages that are less than my male counter-part, for the same work are justified in the name of experience.</p><p>The man who decides to walk a long-ish distance following me, next to me, insisting on speaking to me as I respectfully explain that I really do not want his company is done in the name of lust or love.</p><p>Being forced to perform a gender I am not, justified in the name of what Is normal and godly are just some of the excuses for our continued oppression.</p><p>Like the short skirts and trousers that “lead to rape” they are absurd.</p><p>However, like the short skirt -when these things are said often enough, and when they are given weight by institutions such as the criminal justice system, religious bodies and the media, they gain a sick legitimacy in their normal.</p><p>Importantly, these are actual reasons, given by actual perpetrators in service of actual patriarchy. None of what the art-work depicts is fiction or metaphorical.</p><p>So, what is it then, that these reasons tell us? And what is the conversation we are provoking in our campaign?</p><h3>Silence is complicity</h3><p>The collective of womxn’s and girls’ organisations, groups and individuals, through the campaign’, wants to poke at the South African collective conscience asking:, how do you understand and confront the fact that you are directly and indirectly involved in normalizing, condoning, enabling and perpetuating violence against womxn and children? How do you use and understand the excuses for oppression? How will you actively act against any justification for a violent space, where womxn and non-binary people are unable to thrive?</p><p><strong>If we say that rape is systemic</strong>, this mean that violence against womxn is never JUST an ACT. It is NEVER carried out by just one/a distinct and recognisable group at a time.</p><p>This means that that everyone who gives the “reasons”, who believes the reasons, who excuses the reasons, is also perpetrating violence. The artwork makes the point, that all of the above people and institutions ensure that we experience the pinch of everyday violence; all of them ensure that there are a number of moving pieces that are working in concert to ensure that that pinch, is delivered with its message, and is done frequently enough to sufficiently terrorise.</p><p>The reasons say to us:<br>The status quo is war.<br>It is sadly a war by the people, against those treated as “less than”.<br>It is a place where it is thePeoplevsHer. It is a place where it is thePeoplevsthem.</p><p><img alt="Graphic: The People vs. Her" title="Graphic: The People vs. Her" height="472" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/people-vs-her-twitter-1240.png" /></p><h3>Be part of the solution by organising</h3><p><strong></strong><strong>Firstly, for you to be in true solidarity</strong>, you must reject what the people give as reasons for violence, structural and inter-personal, and you MUST recognise and work against your own culpability and that of others in the creation and maintenance of a society where womxn and non-binary people are brutalised in so many ways. If you are not doing that work, not only are you just part of the problem. You are the problem.<br><br><strong>Secondly we need for all of us</strong>, in our corners to demand government, business, and communities let us know what their plan is to end violence. They need to let us know how much is set aside, in every institution and what they will actively do to prevent, deal with and account for the violence that we find ourselves in.<br><br><strong>Thirdly, how will you, as an individual</strong> break from the machine and do better? How will you stand strong in the lonely light, refusing to be the problem?</p><h3>What you can do now</h3><p><strong>Join the collective</strong> national campaign to be launched by Joining the online conversation by following us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ThePeopleVsHer/?ref=br_rs" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ThePeopleVsHer" rel="nofollow">Twitter, </a>and the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThePeopleVsHer?src=hash" rel="nofollow">#ThePeoplevsHer</a>, and by joining the national day of action on the 5th December 2017.</p><p><strong>Take the lead!</strong> We ask all womxn, queer people, gender non-binary people, sex-workers, and trans people to lead us. In your workplace, in your place of worship, in your stokvel, in your business, in your organisation, in your village, in your street set up a forum and talk to each other. Organise a meeting and talk to each other about how the current situation of unabated violence is affecting you, what do you have to do to stay safe and what are your demands. Please write down and document these demands to build with us a Charter for our Freedom.</p><p><strong>Tell us</strong> what excuses exist for your current oppression. Tell us what plans exist to end violence from institutions in your area.</p><p>We must be clear about what we want. We must be clear what we are demanding.</p><p><em>This entry posted by Oxfam South Africa staff writer, on 30 November 2017.</em></p><p><em>Photo: "No means no" from the South Africa Day of Action, part of the 16 Days of Activism, 28 November 2017. Credit: @ThePeopleVsHer</em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>What role do you play in normalizing violence against women?</h2></div> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:57:21 +0000 Guest Blogger 81312 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-11-30-what-role-do-you-play-normalizing-violence-against-women#comments Independent investigation reveals new details on the plot behind Berta Cáceres’ murder http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-11-29-independent-investigation-reveals-new-details-plot-behind-berta-caceres-murder <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The murder of Berta Cáceres, the Honduran indigenous rights leader, was part of a plot meant to silence the opposition to the construction of an illegitimate hydroelectric project, according a team of international human rights lawyers.</strong></p><p>The lawyers recently <a href="https://justassociates.org/sites/justassociates.org/files/exec_summ_dam_violencia_en_final.pdf" rel="nofollow">published a report</a> examining the circumstances surrounding Berta’s murder. They allege that high-ranking “executives, managers, and employees” of DESA, the firm behind the Agua Zarca project, as well as private security forces, and “state agents” were involved in the plot.</p><p>Simply put, <strong>Berta was killed for opposing powerful people</strong> and standing up for her community’s rights, threatening the large profits that would come once the project became operational. This is what her family and her fellow activists knew from the very beginning.&nbsp;</p><p>This team of lawyers came together after Berta’s family and activists with <a href="https://twitter.com/COPINHHONDURAS" rel="nofollow">COPINH</a>, the group she co-founded, called for an independent investigation into her murder. The lawyers have conducted interviews and, crucially, have, had access to select evidence collected as part of the criminal investigation.</p><p>Some of the evidence they reviewed includes telephone records, text messages, emails, and other electronic communications.</p><p>The authors of the report make it clear: individuals in DESA, the government, and private security forces devised a strategy “to control, neutralize and eliminate any opposition” to the Agua Zarca project, including “smear campaigns, infiltrations, surveillance, threats, contract killing, sabotage of COPINH’s communication equipment.”</p><p>Specifically, the report reveals that planning for Berta’s murder dates to November 2015, coinciding with the “mobilization of indigenous communities and COPINH in opposition to the Agua Zarca Project.”</p><p>We’re encouraged to see <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/report-coordinated-plot-to-murder-honduran-activist-caceres/2017/10/31/3b7611a0-be5e-11e7-9294-705f80164f6e_story.html?utm_term=.fa7f9e3de906" rel="nofollow">international media</a> cover the report, and we hope that it will help bring us one step closer to justice.</p><p><img alt="Global marches were held on 15 June 2016, demanding justice for Berta Cáceres, the Honduran land rights activist murdered on 3 March 2016. Credit: ICIJ" title="Global marches were held on 15 June 2016, demanding justice for Berta Cáceres, the Honduran land rights activist murdered on 3 March 2016. Credit: ICIJ" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/berta-march-1240x680.jpg" /></p><p><em>Global marches were held on 15 June 2016, demanding justice for Berta Cáceres, the Honduran land rights activist murdered on 3 March 2016. Credit: ICIJ.</em></p><p><strong>Oxfam has stood in solidarity with them for, and <a href="http://copinhonduras.blogspot.com/2017/11/desa-asesino-berta-captura-de-los.html" rel="nofollow">joins them in demanding</a> that:</strong></p><ul><li>The Honduran government must ensure effective and immediate measures of protection and security for the&nbsp;Cáceres family, COPINH members and the lawyers for the family.</li><li>The Honduran justice system must capture and convict both the material and intellectual authors of Berta’s murder and the threats and attacks on COPINH members.</li><li>The Honduran National Congress should immediately cancel the contracts they approved in 2010 on behalf of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project on the Gualcarque river.</li><li>The Honduran Public Ministry should allow strong international oversight of the criminal investigation and trial proceedings, something the family and COPINH have called for since the day of Berta’s murder.</li><li>The Honduran Public Ministry must immediately hand over to the family’s lawyers all information they have on the Berta Cáceres murder case as mandated by law, to avoid further delays to the trial proceedings.</li></ul><p>Berta and COPINH’s campaign started after the Agua Zarca project was approved without the consent of the indigenous Lenca people. This was in clear violation of both international agreements ratified by Honduras and agreements between COPINH and then-president Porfirio Lobo Sosa.</p><p><strong>International pressure from Oxfam and other allies</strong> has yielded some results. <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/european-investors-drop-support-controversial-honduran-dam" rel="nofollow">Two of the financial backers</a> and an <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/german-engineering-firms-withdraw-agua-zarca-dam-project-honduras" rel="nofollow">engineer supply firm</a> involved in the Agua Zarca project have backed out, and all work on the project is currently suspended.</p><p>As the murals and posters which decorate the offices of COPINH say, “Berta Lives.” The campaign for justice has made progress, but those close to her are still waiting for those who plotted and carried out Berta’s murder to face the full consequences of their actions.</p><p><strong>Impunity in this case</strong> will only lead to more violence against brave activists and human rights defenders like Berta. The international community has helped fund recent reforms to Honduras’ judicial system; this case is a crucial test of their effectiveness.</p><p><strong>The Berta case is not an isolated incident</strong>. Oxfam and others are seeing similar patterns in other conflicts over land and resources-- irregularities in the approval of contracts, companies supported implicitly or explicitly by security forces.</p><p>There’s real danger in standing up to these powerful interests; we cannot let these communities face it alone.</p><p><em>The entry posted by George Redman, Oxfam in Honduras Country Director, on 29 November 2017, the <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiv95-s5ebXAhVDFMAKHQ3BDfYQFggtMAE&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ohchr.org%2FEN%2FNewsEvents%2FPages%2FDisplayNews.aspx%3FNewsID%3D20936%26LangID%3DE&amp;usg=AOvVaw02uwCZm-JeBFJQLwu3rajm" rel="nofollow">I</a><a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20936&amp;LangID=E" rel="nofollow">nternational Women's Human Rights Defenders Day</a>.</em></p><p><em><img alt="Oxfam team members visit Cáceres&#039; family and colleagues in La Esperanza, Honduras, July 2016. Credit: Cinthia Casco/Oxfam" title="Oxfam team members visit Cáceres&#039; family and colleagues in La Esperanza, Honduras, July 2016. Credit: Cinthia Casco/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/t77a8515-berta-memorial-1240_0.jpg" /></em></p><p><em>Photos top and bottom: Oxfam team members visit&nbsp;Cáceres' family and colleagues in La Esperanza, Honduras, July 2016. Credit: Cinthia Casco/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Read the powerful personal reflection by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, on her visit to Berta Cáceres' family: <a href="https://medium.com/@Oxfam/what-i-learned-during-my-visit-to-la-esperanza-honduras-a397a637a6e9" rel="nofollow">What I learned during my visit to La Esperanza, Honduras</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Independent investigation reveals new details on the plot behind Berta Cáceres’ murder</h2></div> Wed, 29 Nov 2017 12:07:42 +0000 Guest Blogger 81313 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-11-29-independent-investigation-reveals-new-details-plot-behind-berta-caceres-murder#comments Jealousy is NO excuse for violence against women http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-11-24-jealousy-no-excuse-violence-against-women <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>In the run up to <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism" rel="nofollow">16 Days of Activism</a>, Muthoni Muriithi, Oxfam's <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/enough" rel="nofollow">Enough </a>Campaigner in Africa, explains our new campaign which tackles jealousy as a cause of domestic violence. Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&amp;q=%23JealousyIsNoExcuse" rel="nofollow">#JealousyIsNoExcuse</a> or <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23LosCelosNoSonExcusa&amp;src=typd" rel="nofollow">#LosCelosNoSonExcusa</a> on social media to add your voice!</strong></p><p><em>Who are you talking to? Where were you, why did you come home late? Why did he look at you? Why did you smile at him/her? Who are you messaging on your phone?</em></p><p><em></em>These are just some of the questions heard in romantic love asked by possessive boyfriend/girlfriends, partners, love interests.</p><p>While these questions at face value are often dismissed as harmless they often are used to control a partner’s actions and justify feelings of anger and rage that can lead to the use of violence and force against the ‘offending’ partner.</p><p>Many times, these questions are brushed off by women, their friends and family members, however a deeper look into these questions exposes a sense of insecurity and need to control one’s partner and can lead to aggressive behavior and violence. It also exposes widely held social norms around gender and intimate partner relationships, misogynist attitudes and belief on male entitlement, ownership and control over women’s bodies.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RnYYDvg0uDc?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p><h3>Jealousy, proof of love?</h3><p>In a recent Oxfam Study across seven Latin American Countries to be launched in March 2018, 32% of young people in Bolivia said they believe that jealousy is proof of love while <a href="https://www.ourwatch.org.au/getmedia/4aee829c-4478-42a4-83fc-b39781cfcdb8/The-Line-Tracking-Change-Midterm-Snapshot-Report-FINAL.pdf.asp" rel="nofollow">one in five young adults</a> in Australia agree that jealousy is a sign that your partner loves you. This belief is common among many young people around the world where jealousy is viewed as a sign of love, and possessive behaviour is considered a valid expression of desire. Young people ideas of romantic love and relationships are influenced by the societies they live in, as well as through depictions in film, music, TV, social media and everyday use of language in their own communities.</p><p>Where a society sees jealously as a legitimate excuse for the use of violence or force, young people internalize this form of behavior as acceptable and reinforce it within their own relationships. While feelings of jealousy among young people are often considered harmless, too often jealousy is used as an excuse to exercise power and control over women and girls including using aggressive behavior and violence.</p><p><a href="https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Jilted-lover-kills-21-year-old-aspiring-fashion-designer/articleshow/54356715.cms" rel="nofollow"><em>"I was fully devoted to her. I was not keen on killing her, but it just happened."</em></a></p><p><strong>The Oxfam study also revealed that jealousy was one of the excuses</strong> given for violence against women and girls. In the UK, a <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/jmagx8/why-men-murder-women-interview-477" rel="nofollow">study conducted among British prisoners</a> found in the vast majority of cases, men kill their partners because of sexual jealousy while the <a href="\Users\MMuriithi\Downloads\The%20main%20controlling%20behaviours%20women%20experienced%20from%20their%20husbands%20were%20jealousy%20or%20anger%20if" rel="nofollow">Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2014)</a>, noted that about 53% of women stated that their husbands exhibited jealousy or anger if they talked to other men or insisted on knowing their whereabouts all the time and exhibited other forms of control.</p><h3>A victim of 'love'</h3><p>A quick scan of newspapers and the internet reveals many gruesome stories of intimate partner violence where jealousy or ‘crime of passion’ are cited as reasons for the use of violence against one’s partner, with headlines such as “<a href="https://thevoicebw.com/jealous-lover-detained-girlfriends-murder/" rel="nofollow">Jealous lover detained over girlfriend’s murder</a>” in Botswana or “<a href="https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/40-murder-cases-are-crimes-of-passion/articleshow/21637644.cms" rel="nofollow">40% of murder cases are crimes of passion</a>” in Patna district India, the list goes on.</p><p>In these stories, the use of jealousy as an excuse for violence paints the aggressor or abuser as a victim of passionate love and infatuation with uncontrollable emotions of jealousy and is therefore viewed in a more sympathetic manner while the women who experience the violence are viewed as deserving of the abuse especially where they have behaved in ways that go against the socially accepted norms within the society.</p><p>This further normalizes violence as part and parcel of passionate love and reinforces negative norms around masculinity such as ownership and control over women’s bodies rather than expressing positive norms that reinforce love, mutual respect and equality.</p><p><img alt="Jealousy is NO excuse for violence against women." title="Jealousy is NO excuse for violence against women." height="1062" width="1600" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/facebk-en-02-1600-final.jpg" /></p><h3>Breaking the norms</h3><p>Just ahead of the 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence, Oxfam has launched a new campaign to challenge and denounce jealousy as an excuse for any form of violence against women and girls <a href="https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&amp;q=%23JealousyIsNoExcuse" rel="nofollow">#JealousyIsNoExcuse</a>. This campaign seeks to challenge the idea that jealousy is a justification for the use of violence against women and girls and that control, violence and force are a normal part of romantic relationships. <br><br>It calls on young people to dismantle negative social norms that create inequality between young couples and together find positive norms that reinforce respect and bodily autonomy. It calls on young people to denounce behavior that seeks to control their partners and challenge norms that reinforce entitlement and ownership over women’s bodies. It is recognizing that using jealousy as an excuse for violence against women and girls reinforces a culture of blaming women who experience violence, because the abusive partner feels justified in his expression of rage and violence against his partner and it enables this type of violence to go unchecked and unchallenged.</p><p>Young people are encouraged to cultivate healthy relationships where they are respected, not harassed or intimidated and where mutual respect and equality is the foundation of their relationship.</p><h3>What can you do</h3><p>Stand with us to say #JealousyIsNoExcuse, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnYYDvg0uDc&amp;feature=youtu.be" rel="nofollow">share our video</a>, talk with your friends, colleagues, family, share information of that seeks to challenge this belief -- and together lets works to end violence against women and girls!</p><p><em>This entry posted by Muthoni Muriithi, Oxfam's Enough Campaigner in Africa, on 24 November 2017.</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Jealousy is NO excuse for violence against women</h2></div> Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:08:43 +0000 Guest Blogger 81305 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-11-24-jealousy-no-excuse-violence-against-women#comments Can social media help end violence against women and girls? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-05-31-can-social-media-help-end-violence-against-women-and-girls <div class="field field-name-body"><p>On 27th April, in South Africa, <a href="http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/stnews/2017/05/14/Horrific-details-of-Karabo-Mokoenas-gruesome-murder-emerge">Karabo Mokoena</a> was murdered and her body burnt. The alleged attacker was her partner. Karabo was a part-time business student who dreamt of opening an NGO for children and abused women. Just a couple of weeks earlier, in Argentina, <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/murder-feminist-activist-micaela-garcia-argentina-581562">Micaela García </a>was murdered after leaving a nightclub – the main suspect a serial rapist on parole. Micaela had been a campaigner in the Ni Una Menos movement against femicide.</p> <p>Sadly, the extreme violence is not what makes these cases unusual. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/19/argentina-women-strike-violence-protest">In Argentina, a woman is murdered every 30 hours</a> and in South Africa, intimate partner violence, at 56%, is <a href="http://www.mrc.ac.za/policybriefs/everyeighthours.pdf">now the leading cause of death</a> of women homicide victims.</p> <p>What is unusual is in both cases significant numbers of ordinary people went onto twitter to express their anger not only at the perpetrators but at the broader structures and systems that make this abuse “normal”. </p> <h3>Exposing violence</h3> <p><strong>Following Karabo’s murder, many women shared their own stories</strong> of abuse under the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=MenAreTrash&amp;src=typd">#MenAreTrash</a>.</p> <p>The hashtag offended some. But many commented it was a phrase to expose how violence is rooted in gender inequality. It enabled women to share the violence experienced at the hands of male partners, acquaintances and strangers.</p> <p>Put together under one thread, it was overwhelmingly clear that cases of violence against women and girls are not isolated, but part of a broader and connected pattern. This violence is happening because our cultures let it happen. Societies’ silence and inaction over abuse creates an environment where it is normal and acceptable. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">A calendar showing the alarming number of cases of violence against women has gone viral: <a href="https://t.co/LwRV2H1akE">https://t.co/LwRV2H1akE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NiUnaMenos?src=hash">#NiUnaMenos</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EVAWG?src=hash">#EVAWG</a></p> <p>— Oxfam America (@OxfamAmerica) <a href="https://twitter.com/OxfamAmerica/status/859414740443049984">May 2, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Fighting injustice</h3> <p><strong>In Argentina, after Micaela’s murder</strong>,<strong> women and men took to the streets</strong> and to twitter to demand justice using the <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=NiUnaMenos&amp;src=typd">#NiUnaMenos</a> (Not One Less) and <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=JusticiaParaMicaela&amp;src=typd">#JusticiaParaMicaela</a>. The protests were driven in part because the <a href="http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/04/10/inenglish/1491830225_471455.html">media had reported</a> Micaela’s murderer had been released from prison against recommendations.</p> <p>A couple of weeks later, in Mexico, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-39817650">a public prosecutor tweeted</a> that Lesvy Berlín Osorio, who was strangled with a telephone cord on a university campus, was to blame for her own murder. He tweeted "She was an alcoholic and a bad student," and "She had left home and was living with her boyfriend." Women took to twitter using <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=SiMeMatan&amp;src=typd">#SiMeMatan</a> (which translates to 'If They Kill Me') to challenge “survivor-blame” and to explain how, if they were murdered, their personal lives would be used against them.</p> <h3>Challenging norms</h3> <p><strong>One of the root causes</strong> of violence against women and girls are discriminatory social norms. These are shared expectations within a group of how a certain person should behave. For example, a social norm related to violence is that a man believes that his community considers it normal and acceptable for him to physically discipline his wife.  </p> <p>In challenging discriminatory social norms, current evidence shows that communications campaigns are <a href="http://www.sddirect.org.uk/media/1205/shifting-social-norms-tackle-violence-against-women-girls.pdf">not effective by themselves</a>, but that they can be effective when combined with other interventions. A key component of social norm change is providing space for <a href="http://www.sddirect.org.uk/media/1205/shifting-social-norms-tackle-violence-against-women-girls.pdf">debate and deliberation</a>. Social media could be a key forum for providing debate and deliberation at scale. We need more evidence to show whether this could work.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">"For the safety of your prestige,keep your daughters inside the houses under strict vigil" - <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AzamKhan?src=hash">#AzamKhan</a> Time to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SayEnough?src=hash">#SayEnough</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EVAWG?src=hash">#EVAWG</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/patriarchy?src=hash">#patriarchy</a> <a href="https://t.co/2Bn6JV3RVY">pic.twitter.com/2Bn6JV3RVY</a></p> <p>— Oxfam India (@OxfamIndia) <a href="https://twitter.com/OxfamIndia/status/869168497615450113">May 29, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Influence</h3> <p><strong>Social media can also provide a platform</strong> for key influencers (celebrities, politicians, sports-people) to publically challenge violence. For instance, in South Africa a number of high-profile individuals endorsed the #MenAreTrash, including high profile <a href="https://twitter.com/HlomlaDandala?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">men</a>.</p> <p>We also know that tweets can be important influencing strategies. In Argentina, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-39817650">President Macri reacted</a> to the offline and online protests by suggesting the judge who released the main suspect should be removed from his post. In Mexico, following <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=SiMeMatan&amp;src=typd">#SiMeMatan</a>, the prosecutor's office was moved to make public assurances that their investigations were not biased.</p> <h3>Solidarity</h3> <p><strong>Social media can also show cross-border solidarity.</strong> While this blog highlights cases from Argentina, Mexico and South Africa, violence against women and girls happens in every country. Social media can be a useful way to expose abuse wherever it happens, and for women and men across the world to come together and say “Enough!”</p> <p>Doubters may point to the phenomenon of ‘clicktivism’, where the only engagement people have with a campaign is online, and so safely incognito. As noted above, in terms of challenging social norms, social media is unlikely to be effective by itself. In <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/murder-feminist-activist-micaela-garcia-argentina-581562">Argentina</a> and <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/mexican-women-if-im-murdered-simematan-595501">Mexico</a>, the twitter hashtag was accompanied by protests/marches.</p> <h3>Join the fight</h3> <p><strong>Social media is one way we can all challenge violence</strong> – for instance, to follow our Enough campaign hashtag (<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=SayEnough&amp;src=typd">#SayEnough</a>) or follow women’s rights organizations and women’s rights defenders and get involved with their respective twitter campaigns.</p> <p>But also importantly, we all need to get engaged offline too – if it is safe to do so, talk to your friends, family and colleagues about gender inequality and violence, find out if Oxfam is running our Enough campaign in your country (if so get involved!) and join local women’s rights groups and their campaigns.</p> <p><strong>By acting together, both online and offline, we can end violence against women and girls.</strong></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ova_C9v7F90?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>This entry was posted by Bethan Cansfield, Head of Oxfam's ENOUGH Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls, on 31 May 2017.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Tika Darlami's daughter Tulsa, 22, receives a text message on her phone. Tika Darlami (45) is a community leader who sits on the village's school management committee and forest user committee as well as attending community discussion groups to support women facing issues such as domestic violence. This is all the more impressive as Tika lives in Gumi, a rural village in the Surkhet district of Nepal where women's opportunities are limited by social norms that can keep them tied to the household, low levels of literacy, and lack of awareness of their rights. Five years ago Tika herself rarely left her own house, not even to buy food locally. Today, thanks to Oxfam's Raising her Voice project and the extraordinary efforts of the women themselves, she is recognized everywhere in the village. Credit: Aubrey Wade/Oxfam</em></p> <p><strong>Read more <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/end%20violence%20against%20women">blogs on ending violence against women and girls</a></strong><em><br /></em></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Can social media help end violence against women and girls?</h2></div> Wed, 31 May 2017 10:36:21 +0000 Guest Blogger 81078 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-05-31-can-social-media-help-end-violence-against-women-and-girls#comments